After all the swirling rumors about whether Danny Duffy would end up in the rotation or in the bullpen were nullified Sunday when he was re-assigned to minor-league camp along with three other players. Duffy, fellow left-hander Donny Joseph, right-handers P.J. Walters and Corey Wade will most begin the 2014 season in the Kansas City Royals minor league system.
Just a few days after the Royals organization confirmed that Danny Duffy would begin the season on the major league squad, they changed their minds. Clearly, they could not ignore the fourteen earned runs in only eleven innings that Duffy game up.
In Duffy’s latest outing, that cemented this decision, he lost all composure after walking Rangers prospect Ronald Guzman. Once again, Duffy threw a good curveball in the zone, but the umpire missed the call. This has been a theme for Duffy. He then couldn’t find the zone for the next two batters, spurning a conference with catcher Ramon Hernandez. Duffy’s next fastball was in the zone, but Michael Choice launched it over the center-field fence. It was Danny Duffy’s sixth allowed home run of Spring Training.
Until Duffy learns to maintain his composure on the mound, it seems, the Royals have no use for him at the big league level. Duffy is relatively well-known for being an emotional pitcher. It’s not a certainty that he gets too excited on the mound, but bad breaks tend to correlate with him spiraling out of control. His stuff can be dominant. His fastball touched 97 mph in his last outing and his curveball was even fooling the umpires. He always looks like he is on the verge of putting it together, but his numbers this spring are a testament to the contrary.
With the demotion of left-hander Donnie Joseph, the Royals appear to have a bullpen spot open for left-handed journeyman Francisley Bueno. Bueno has been exceptionally productive for the Royals in his limited playing time. In 25 games, Bueno has a 1.05 ERA, despite only 12 strikeouts. That is the best ERA among American League relievers over the past two years. Sure, it was only 25 appearances, but they were quality appearances.